I was talking with some friends recently about the upcoming “office party season”, and we were deliberating what we might wear as many of us work in offices that allow us to use half a days leave to go out for a long departmental lunch which may or may not end up visiting a few of the local pubs *wink wink*.
Shortly after having that discussion, the lovely Sabrina from Kate’s Clothing asked me if I’d like to review something from their vintage, retro and 1950’s clothing section, with options including Hell Bunny clothing, and ChicStar clothing, I felt spoiled for choice, but with my mind still on office parties I kept coming back to the ChicStar ‘Retro Pin Up Ruffle Skirt‘ (£19.99). And remember – keep reading for your discount code!
The Retro Pin Up Ruffle Skirt is available in two colours – red and black; I decided to go for the black version, as I felt that not only would it fit into my current wardrobe better, it would be easier to both “office-ise” and “party-ise” it, rather than a coloured skirt.
As ever, the team at Kate’s Clothing got the skirt to me in seemingly double-quick time, I’m sure they bribe the Royal Mail with chocolates as no sooner was I told it had been dispatched than it was in my hands!
As you can see from the photo above the Retro Pin Up Ruffle Skirt is a pencil skirt, with button detail and a lace trim, it’s available in sizes XS – XXL; using the size guide I chose the extra small, which is designed to fit a high waist measurement of 26″, a lower waist measurement of 28″, and 35″ hips. Although this is slightly larger than my measurements, I found the skirt to be really quite a good fit – it was a little wide around my waist but nothing a cinch belt couldn’t easily fix. There isn’t a lot of stretch in the fabric, so if you’re at all unsure I would contact the wonderful team at Kate’s Clothing for some fit advice.
The lace trim on the skirt comes to just below my knees, with the slit stopping a few inches above the top of my left knee so it’s perfectly sensible for the office, but easy enough to style for casual day wear or a more dressy occasion. It’s not a particularly heavyweight fabric, and it has a little stretch; overall it’s good quality for its’ price-point.
Now: on to the fun part – dressing it up! Anyone who follows me on social media will see my daily outfit posts, and will know that I’m lucky in that I can wear almost anything I want for work (I’m sure if I turned up in a ball gown, complete with tiara and opera length gloves I wouldn’t raise an eyebrow!), but I also realise that not everyone is so lucky, or perhaps you don’t want to ‘be’ a pin up at work, so my first few choices reflect this.
For all of my outfits, I’ve chosen silver as my accent colour, so my shoes are my silver/gold glitter Mary Janes from TUK Shoes, my earrings are from Yuliana of Poison of Choice on Etsy, and where you can see my belt, it’s a simple elastic cinch belt from Viven of Holloway. My make up is simple, with red lipstick (F-Bomb), gold-toned eyeshadow primer as the ‘colour’ on my eyelids, and to complete my look purple pencil liner (Plushie) overlaid with silver liquid liner (‘Bobby Dazzle’) (all from Urban Decay).
My hair is down in all of these photos, as after these were taken I touched up my colour, but another fantastic way to accessorise would be to add a hair flower, whether you wear your hair up or down. Sadly I’m lacking in winter and/or Christmas themed hair decoration, so I sense a visit to my local artificial flower store in my future.
My first outfit choice is for someone who just wants to add a little something special to their office outfit, and doesn’t want to go overboard on their ‘going out with work’ outfit. The shoes and earrings add a little bit of sparkle, so the real focus is on the cheongsam top, mine’s black so it still keeps the outfit fairly toned down, but if yours is a nice bright colour that would also look really nice, and give another colour to accessorise with too.
Next up is my first two-in-one look, it incorporates the Laura Byrnes ‘Sean‘ top in purple – which is gorgeous but often a little low-cut for most work environments, underneath this however, rather than a plan camisole I’ve hidden my ‘Vamp‘ top in Baton Rouge Floral.
If this is your outfit of choice for your office party day, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re not showing off anything you don’t want to at work, but you’ve got something to easily liven up your outfit from lunchtime onwards, simply unzip Sean and lift him over your head to reveal a little more of your personality
For those with a little more freedom at work, you might choose a Vixen Vondetta top, with the straps crossed over your back for work, and then crossed over your chest when you go out to play.
If you work in a cooler office, this is a really easy top to throw a cardi or shrug over, and you could even
There’s quite a lot of give in the fabric, add that to the length of this top and you’ve got a fantastic outfit that allows a little bit of festive over-indulgence!
Last but not least, for those who are maybe staying indoors all day, who don’t mind the cold, or want to really show off – I’ve got two options for you!
I got this top from TopShop in the summer, to wear with my first pair of swing trousers, sadly they didn’t last long (the ‘small hole’ the seller said they had was a lot bigger, and they’re now waiting to get turned into shorts) but it’s a nice length and style to pair with this skirt and look dressy while being a little flirty too – you can just see a smidgen of waistline/ribcage.
Whether you’d cover up with a cardi or change into this before you go out would be totally up to you, but I really like the contrast of a fitted skirt and a not-so-fitted top.
I found this top in the sale section of River Island, also in the summer. I don’t make a habit of going in high street shops for various reasons, but sale rails are always worth a browse.
Again, this top shows just enough to pique the imagination but without being over-the-top, it would need a cardigan for your morning at work, but getting ready to go out would be one of the easiest things to do: cardi off, check your hair and make up, go and have fun!
As you can see, this is a really simple skirt but it goes wonderfully with so many other items, it would also look fabulous with ankle or knee boots, plainer shoes, or even more amazing shoes. The black skirt could be paired with any other colour or pattern; not only is it so very versatile, it’s wonderfully comfortable too, which basically makes it a pin up’s wardrobe staple!
One last thing! The lovely people at Kate’s Clothing have given me a code just for you, for 10% off at www.katesclothing.co.uk – just put 10pinup10 in the ‘Coupon code? Enter it here’ field once you’ve added your items to your basket and are ready to check out – you can only use it once but it’s good from now until January 2nd 2015
Disclaimer: Kate’s Clothing sent me a Retro Pin Up Ruffle skirt to review; besides receiving the skirt I have not and will not get any further compensation from Kate’s Clothing and/or ChicStar monetary or otherwise. Regardless of this, all opinions expressed are mine and mine only.